The individual immigrant visas
The aforementioned immigrant visas are of course not sufficient to immigrate to the USA and to stay in the USA beyond the limited period of residence and to spend your life there. For this you need an immigrant visa for which a sponsorship from a US citizen or a US employer is necessary. The U.S. citizen must be a first degree relative. An approved petition must also be available.
When it comes to immigration visas, a distinction is made between the following visa categories:
- Returning Residents Visa
- Diversity Visa (DV Lottery)
- Immigration by employers
- Fiance Visa
- Immigration by family
- Special Immigrant Visa
The visitor Visa:
Visitor visas are the visas that will be the visas of choice for most people traveling to the United States for tourist purposes. The visitor visa is a category B-1 / B2 visa and as the name suggests, visitor visas allow you to visit the USA for a certain period of time (180 days). The visitor visa distinguishes between private and business reasons.
The B-1 visitor visa is the visa of choice when it comes to business travel. Category B-2 visitor visas are intended for private travel to the United States. All in all, Visitor visas are the most commonly issued visas. In UK, almost half of all visa applications are used to apply for visitor visas.
The visa Application:
You must first apply for a visa for the United States of America online with a visa application. To apply, fill out the DS-160 form, which you can find here, and send it off. You can find out the status of your visa online here.
After submitting the application, you need to make an appointment for an interview at the nearest embassy. You can choose from the US Embassy in Berlin, the US Consulate General in Munich and the US Consulate General in Frankfurt am Main.
People under the age of 13 and over 80 usually do not have to give an interview when applying for a visa.
You must bring the following documents with you to the interview after making an appointment:
- Two passport photos
- Passport (must be valid for at least six months after entering the USA)
- Copy of the passport
- Proof of payment of the visa fee
- Statement of account
- Evidence of the reasons for staying in the United States
How does the immigrant visa application fee work?
Before processing the application form for the visa application, there are costs. Most applicants (including children) have to pay an application fee. This application fee must also be paid if the application is not rewarded with approval after the interview date. Payment for the visa application is made through an online system.
There are a few exceptions, however. Those who apply for an A or G visa do not pay an application fee. And those who take part in an exchange program, for example as a student or au pair, can also be exempted from the application fee for the J visa. The requirement for the free visa application is that the exchange program falls under one of the programs sponsored by the US government.
The purpose of the interview with the visa application is to find out whether the traveler is actually traveling to the USA for the purpose stated by him and whether the information given in the visa application is correct. You can complete this interview at the American consulates.
Usual sequence of the interview:
The time at which the appointment for the visa application was assigned relates to the entrance to the consulate and not to the start of the interview. For this reason, it is sufficient if you arrive there with your documents about 30 minutes before the appointment. Here you first show your appointment confirmation and the payment receipt and then go through the security check.
Note: Everything that is not allowed to pass the security check at the airport may not be carried here under any circumstances. In addition, smartphones, laptops, USB sticks and similar devices are not allowed.
It continues to the interview rooms. Here you pull a number and then wait your turn with your visa application. First, fingerprints are taken. There is another waiting period until you are finally called by the consular officer and the actual interview for the visa application begins at the representation. You should plan a few hours for the process to be on the safe side.
What questions should I expect during the interview at the embassy?
Some examples of questions commonly asked in the immigrant visa interviews:
- Why do you want to travel to the USA?
- Will you be accompanied?
- How long will you stay?
- What is your monthly income?
- Do you have relatives in the United States?
- Where will you live in the US?
- Are you thinking of staying permanently?
- Will you apply for a green card?
- Who is watching at home?
- Is this your first visit to the USA?
- Do you have entries in the police clearance certificate?
- How good is your English
- Note: This is only an overview. Other or additional questions can also be asked.
If you get the passport back directly after the interview at the embassy, it means that you have not met the requirements for the non immigrant visa for travelers and your application has been rejected. Otherwise, copies of your passport and documents will remain at the consulate.
Tip: When applying for a tourist visa, do not mention that you may be looking for work in the USA or that you can imagine emigrating to the USA and living your life there permanently.